Managing your to do list

Managing your to do list

I have always been a big to do list person when it comes to managing my regular tasks.

Recently, I’ve taken task management to a whole new level. In the last few years, I have used almost every task management system in the book.

So, I wanted to round up my favorites – some are apps or websites, and some are written systems – for anyone starting school this week and already feeling like the tasks are pouring in.


1. ToDoIst

First up on the list: ToDoIst!

This is my current task management system and my favorite. ToDoIst is an incredibly easy, intuitive system for managing multiple to do lists across many categories of life.

A few great features:

  • Incredibly easy to add tasks and manage them
  • Color coding
  • Prioritize your tasks
  • Non-aggressive but useful notifications
  • Tons of keyboard shortcuts

You also earn karma points when you complete tasks and add tasks to your list. That’s a fun little game to play. ToDoIst occasionally gives you free months of Premium for earning karma points, too, which is totally worth it.

Oh, and plain ole regular ToDoIst? It’s 100% free and almost all of the functionality is available with the free version. There are a few extra things that are nice additions, but just that.

Trello To Do List

2. Trello

Trello is an incredibly popular way of managing a to do list, especially if you like a more visual representation.

A few great features:

  • Filtering is great
  • Very easy to move tasks around
  • Add photos to your background to personalize
  • Add files, photos, etc. to each individual card or task, so keep everything you need in one place
  • Free plan has a ton of functionality

If I had to say one thing about Trello that I don’t love, it’s that recurrent cards aren’t a regular feature – they’re included as “Powerups” and you only get one Powerup on a free account.

Asana To Do List

3. Asana

Quick caveat: I’ve never actually used free Asana, only ever the paid version with all the features. But the free plan includes all of the good features you’d want from the premium version, and most of the paid features are only useful if you’re using Asana for a team, anyway.

It’s also worth noting that Asana’s design is very aesthetically pleasing and it integrates with a ton of other tools on its own and through Zapier.

A few great features:

  • Separate task lists into “projects”
  • Tons of keyboard shortcuts
  • Easy to add files, notes, etc. to tasks
  • Clean design

If you’re a freelancer or running your own business, Asana would be a great way to manage your to do list for your clients or different components of your job.

The Day Designer Planner

4. The Day Designer

On to the paper to do list management!

If you are a big fan of a written to do list and you love a good planner, then you need to get your paws on a Day Designer. This is definitely a pricier planner, but the daily page layouts are simply amazing.

A few great features:

  • Goal setting and tracking pages at the front
  • Hourly breakdown for time blocking
  • Plenty of room for your daily to do list

This is a very old bullet journal list, btw!

5. Bullet Journaling

If you are incredibly picky or have tried every to do list method in the book… time to try bullet journaling!

I was a big fan of bullet journaling for a long time, even though I never got too into “spreads” or some of the other things people do in their bullet journals. At the end of the day, I didn’t want to draw out my week… I just wanted to write down my list in a way that helped me.

A few great features:

  • Use your own supplies
  • Customize it to your own needs
  • It’s OK if it’s messy


What’s your preferred to do list system? Is your to do list virtual or still on paper?